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Booze ban suggested for Wellington Sevens

The IRB is unimpressed with the level of drinking at the Wellington Sevens and there are calls for the concourse to become booze-free.

 
 

Wellington sevens

THE IRB is unimpressed with the level of drinking at the Wellington Sevens and there are calls for the concourse to become booze-free.

The party atmosphere at the two-day event is a major draw card for the annual event, but there are concerns behaviour is getting out of hand.

Commentator Keith Quinn has suggested a dry-zone in the Westpac Stadium concourse from late afternoon to early evening during the tournament.

People could still buy alcohol, but would have to drink it at their seats, meaning people would be there to watch a game and have a drink, not just get drunk.

He had talked to IRB Sevens tournament operations manager Beth Coulter after the last Wellington Sevens.

“[She] gave the impression to me they were not impressed with the behaviour of the Wellington crowd,” Fairfax NZ reported.

While Wellington wasn’t in danger of losing the popular rugby event, cities competed fiercely to host it.

Quinn had a number of bad experiences with drunk punters at the event in recent years.

Along with fellow commentator John McBeth, they had had to avoid a rowdy group of 25 people, anticipating harassment.

McBeth had to help a taxi driver remove a passenger, who jumped in the cab after vomiting and offered sexual payment instead of money.

Wellington councillor John Morrison, a vocal opponent of tighter liquor controls at the Sevens, said there were generally only slightly more arrests in the city during the tournament weekend.

The council had previously discussed tighter liquor controls and would probably do so again.

“We are so amazing in this country. We want to have rules to stop a few people doing something.”

A dry family area at the event was poorly used, he said.

Having a drink-free concourse was not going to work as people needed a break from seven hours of rugby, and it was a place for people to catch up with friends.

 
 

 
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